STL to STEP Conversion-Free

 From:  Colin
Hi Everyone,

This was mentioned over on the Forum & I thought it may be of interest to Members here.

STL to STEP Conversion Software

As part of our Visualization and Rendering Services we have come across a number of situations where file formats are limiting data exchange. Though CAD software tailors to the needs of rendering software, the exchange of information needs to bidirectional on occasion.

For this reason we have taken a closer look at what we could do to make this interaction more efficient. We found that Stereolithography (*.stl) formats are very common amongst CAD and rendering packages and are an export option for common software. Importing an STL format is not as easy however and usually leads to a representation-only data exchange whereby the resulting body cannot be manipulated. A STEP format is a common exchange format for loading model data into CAD packages for manipulation.

It is for this reason that we have created a file converter that reads in the vertex and face data of a STL file and exports the data to a set of surface shells. If the original STL model represents a water-tight, closed volume, the resulting file will too be a solid body.

The software works by extrapolating data from a set of arbitrarily defined surfaces to a coherent set of shells. Exporting the data is through a STEP format (AP 214) which can commonly be read in by several CAD packages for later manipulation.

Hope it's of some use, Colin